Summary: If you have people in your church who seem to be fighting the same battle over and over, here's a sermon to preach.
Life Contains Many Recurring Struggles
18Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant.
19Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.
20Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant.
21So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David's brother, killed him.
22These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.
I want to begin this morning by telling a true story.
In 2013 it looked bleak for Torrie Kruse,
a sophomore first baseman at Edwardsville High.
Kruse was a shell of her former self.
With a failing kidney and grossly yellow skin over her entire body,
Torrie was in serious trouble.
Torrie was clinging to life and in dire need of a liver transplant. Felled by a rare genetic disorder
that prohibits proper dismissal of copper from the liver,
Kruse looked like a totally different person.
She spent most of her time in the hospital
on morphine to ease tremendous pain.
She was put on the liver transplant recipient list
and sent to St. Louis Children's Hospital.
The medical team prescribed medicine,
which gradually improved Kruse's condition.
Less than 2 weeks later, she was sent home.
More of Torrie's story a little later!
The last time we looked at David's story
his army was fighting the Philistines.
One of the giant Goliath's sons was in that battle.
He was determined to get revenge
for what David had done to his father Goliath.
He found David on that battlefield
and the two began to fight.
During the struggle, David became faint or tired.
Fortunately, David's commanding officer came to his rescue
and David was saved.
That's where we pick up the story today in Verse 18.
18 Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant.
Some time later, the army of Israel is in a battle again!
Once again, the battle is with their old enemy, the Philistines.
In this battle, a Philistine named Sath is killed.
Like Ishbi-Benob back in Verse 16,
Sath was a son of the giant Goliath.
Verse 19 says once again the army of Israel
is in another battle with the Philistines.
In that battle, a brother of Goliath is killed.
Verse 20 says there is yet another battle
between the army of Israel and the Philistines.
Again one of Goliath's sons is killed.
So on 4 separate occasions, the Philistines go to war with Israel.
In each of those 4 battles, Israel faces a relative of Goliath.
Whether you realize it or not,
we are in a spiritual battle.
Satan is out to destroy us!
That means we have to face the same enemy,
in the same battle of life
over and over and over again.
We often find ourselves in battles against sickness.
Sometimes it's a battle with other people.
Maybe it's a battle against some bad habit or addiction.
We pray for God's help
and to some degree or in some manner we get it.
Maybe it's a healing.
Maybe it's a triumph over someone causing trouble for us.
Somehow, through God's help,
like David did when he was just a boy,
you are able to slay the giant in your life.
God has saved you,
but then maybe a few weeks down the road,
maybe even years later,
the old symptoms begin to show up again.
In fact, not only are the old symptoms back,
but they are back stronger than ever.
You feel depressed and discouraged.
You experience physical discomfort and pain.
You are emotionally worn out.
You are ready to just give up!
It seems that all the progress you have made in life is gone.
You are right back where you started.
Friends, when that happens
there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
We all experience these kinds of negative setbacks.
It's déjà vu all over again!
It happens the next time we come face-to-face
with a challenge that we thought we had already defeated.
There comes a second time around, a third time around,
and maybe even a 4th time around.
Each time, we lose a little more faith in God.
We start saying things like: "Oh, not again."